A lot of news this morning about our favorite thing to love, hate and love-hate: the subway system. So, what’s new below ground? Oh, just your usual multitudes of people, crime and service issues. We’ll rattle off some of the specifics. First up, MTA stats are showing that 2012 has been a boon for below-ground criminals. What NY1 calls “major subway felonies” have gone up 30 percent this January opposed to January 2011. As a point of comparison, 85 robberies occurred last month when only 64 did in same time frame last year. Why? NY1 has police saying it’s because people are eying those shiny things on laps and in hands. That’s right, people are looking to nab gadgets, so hold onto your iPhone tightly!
Meanwhile, according to information gleaned from 2011, straphangers are plentiful. An average of 5.3 million rode the subways on weekdays last year, according to the New York Daily News, which tells us that the stat is the the highest since 1951.
And even though weekends are most certainly not immune to subway grief, they are also not suffering from a lack of patrons. Last year, 5.4 million took the train on weekends — a number calculated by “the sum of the averages of Saturday and Sunday tallies,” according to the Daily News. This figure nearly the high of 5.6 million recorded in 1947.
(While we’re getting all historical, the movie On the Town, which featured the famous lyric about how in New York “the people ride in a hole in the ground,” was released in 1949.)
But speaking of weekends, this one is not immune to any commuter challenges. For one, some subway travelers are going to have to be old-fashioned. The countdown clocks telling riders when the next train will come on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 lines are going to be out of operation until 7 p.m. The shut down is due to maintenance on the Automatic Train Supervision system, which the clocks use to get arrival information.